Johnny Depp responds to claims he squandered his money, alleges ‘smear’

© Press/ ET Canada

The lawsuit filed by Johnny Depp against his former managers is getting uglier, with lawyers for the Pirates of the Caribbean star filing court documents this week containing alleged “additional evidence of illegal conduct” by the firm that had handled Depp’s finances.

Earlier this year, Depp filed a US$25-million lawsuit against Joel and Robert Mandel — and their company The Management Group (TMG) —alleging their “gross misconduct” caused him to lose “tens of millions of dollars.”

In the 52-page filing, Depp, 53, claims that The Mandel Co. (his management group) and other listed defendants mismanaged his money, causing him to lose at least US$25 million. The Rango star alleges TMG failed to file his taxes by the deadline, forcing him to incur $5.7 million in late fees.

READ MORE: Johnny Depp’s lavish lifestyle revealed: Actor spends $2M a month, at least

In response to the suit, the Mandels accused Depp of creating his own financial problems by living an ultra-extravagant lifestyle, claiming Depp’s living expenses topped US$2 million per month and filing a countersuit saying the firm “did everything in its power” to keep Depp from spending more than he earned.

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They provided multiple examples of the actor’s out-of-control spending, including the US$75 million he spent on 14 homes around the world, and the US$3 million he spent blasting late journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s ashes out of a cannon (which was a request in the author’s will).

Other alleged expenditures include:

  • $30,000/month on buying and importing wine
  • $200,000/month on private jets
  • $18 million on a 45-metre yacht
  • $4 million on a failed record label
  • $300,000/month for a staff of 40 people
  • $150,000/month on 24/7 security
  • An undisclosed amount to maintain 12 storage facilities to house his Hollywood memorabilia collection

READ MORE: Johnny Depp’s lawyer responds to ex-managers’ cross-complaint in US$25M lawsuit, Alleges ‘large and multi-faceted mosaic of wrongdoing’

According to a report in People, Depp’s lawyer Adam Waldman is firing back, telling the magazine that “they have no viable defense other than to follow through on their stated plan to attempt to smear Mr. Depp.”

According to People, Depp’s legal team filed a complaint on Monday that claims to “have uncovered additional evidence of illegal conduct by TMG around bank loans.” Depp’s lawyers, state the court documents, contend that one of Depp’s former business managers “snuck self-serving provisions into a bank loan agreement in a scheme to grab millions of dollars in payments for himself and other advisors on Mr. Depp’s film residuals.”

Waldman told People: “Today we have shown definitively that TMG systematically failed to pay Mr. Depp’s taxes on time for 16 straight years, leading to at least US$8.3 million in penalties for Mr. Depp according to the IRS and the law firm that TMG itself hired.”

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READ MORE: Amber Heard, Johnny Depp divorce finalized: Who gets what?

Responding to the new court filing, a spokesperson for TMG told People that “Depp backs away from his most inflammatory claims in his original complaint and tries to fill the void by rehashing previous false allegations. TMG looks forward to setting the record straight and further exposing Depp’s persistent lies.”

Waldman begs to differ, and turned down that claim by telling People that “evidence supporting Depp has been redacted from the complaint at the request of TMG attorneys,” adding: “In today’s filing, the only ‘there that isn’t there’ is the new evidence that the Mandels have gone to great lengths to temporarily seal from the public’s view.”  

As for his client, Waldman says that Depp “is otherwise focused on his work, recently filming Murder on the Orient Express and LAbyrinth. He is looking forward to the release in May of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.”

With files from Chris Jancelewicz

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